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Press Statement

Preasráiteas

15 March 2018

Quarterly National Accounts and Balance of Payments Quarter 4 2017 and Year 2017 (Preliminary)

Preliminary results for Year 2017
  • GDP increased by 7.8% in 2017
  • GNP increased by 6.6% in the year
  • Key indicators of underlying domestic activity, Personal Consumption Expenditure and Modified Total Domestic Demand, grew by 1.9% and 3.9% respectively
  • Balance of Payments results recorded a current account surplus of €37.1 billion in the year

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (Thursday 15 March 2018) published Quarterly National Accounts and Balance of Payments results for Quarter 4, 2017 and preliminary results for the Year 2017.

Commenting, Jennifer Banim, Assistant Director General with responsibility for Economic Statistics said:

“Preliminary National Accounts results for 2017 show an increase of 7.8% in GDP and an increase of 6.6% in GNP compared with 2016.  Apart from a small contraction in the Financial and Insurance sector, all other sectors of the economy experienced growth in 2017.  Industry grew by 8.9% in volume terms, while both the Information and Communication and the Construction sectors showed growth of 16.8% in the year. Distribution, Transport, Hotels and Restaurants, a sector driven by domestic activity, grew by 1.6% in 2017.

Looking at the economy in 2017 from an expenditure perspective we can see that:

  • Personal consumption of goods and services - an important measure of domestic economic activity and accounting for almost a third of the economy in 2017 - rose by 1.9% in 2017
  • Capital investment showed a decrease of 22.3% in 2017, driven by lower imports of intellectual property products (IPP).  The overall impact of IPP imports on GDP is neutral however, as their addition to Ireland’s capital stock is offset by the corresponding import amounts recorded for the products.  In 2017, Imports of Goods and Services decreased by 6.2%, largely due to decreases in IPP imports 
  • Exports of Goods and Services grew by 6.9% in 2017, driving the growth in GDP in 2017
  • Overall, the lower levels of IPP imports contributed to a decrease of 7.9% in Total Domestic Demand in 2017.  In contrast, Modified Total Domestic Demand - an indicator developed to remove globalisation effects such as IPP imports - showed an increase of 3.9% in 2017 compared to 2016

In Balance of Payments results for 2017, improvements in the Services deficit contributed to a strong current account surplus of €37.1 billion, a significant increase on the €9.2 billion current account surplus in 2016.  Examining the Balance of Payments Services results, Computer Service exports of €74.4 billion were recorded in 2017, an increase of €9.8 billion on the previous year.  The decrease in IPP activity is very clear in the Balance of Payments Services results, when R&D imports of €26.8 billion in 2017 are compared with R&D imports of €47.1 billion in 2016.

Today’s Balance of Payments release includes a table of current account transactions with the UK with trade in goods and services showing a surplus of €12.2 billion, offset by a deficit of €9.5 billion on income flows in 2017 to give a Current Account balance of €2.7 billion with the UK in the year.

In Quarter 4, 2017 GDP increased by 3.2% when compared to Quarter 3, 2017 while GNP increased by 6.3%.  Personal consumption of goods and services increased by 0.3% in the quarter.  In Balance of Payments results for Quarter 4, 2017, the current account showed a surplus of €14.9 billion.

Summarising the 2017 headline results, while GDP grew by 7.8% and GNP increased by 6.6%, key indicators of underlying domestic activity such as Personal Consumption Expenditure and Modified Total Domestic Demand grew by 1.9% and 3.9% respectively.”

For further information contact:

Michael Connolly (+353) 1 498 4006 or Christopher Sibley (+353) 1 498 4305

or email nat_acc@cso.ie

or email bop@cso.ie

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